Emotional persuasion

Robert Heath

This article defines two different types of persuasion: rational and emotional. Rational persuasion, exemplified by performance claims, promotions, offers and the like, acts as an incentive for sales. But it is emotional persuasion that creates relationships and builds strong, successful brands. An important new research system is described – the CEP™ Test – which is able to quantify accurately in advance how well ads will perform on each of these two different types of persuasion.


In 1974, Andrew Ehrenberg wrote a controversial paper about how advertising works (1). He rejected the notion that advertising is capable of changing attitudes on its own, and proposed that it usually worked by reinforcing opinions formed from what are often high levels of consumer knowledge and experience.